To identify the prevalence of posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and its determinants among adolescents more than 4 years after the 2008 Wenchuan earthquake.
Adolescents (1,125 total) from 2 junior high schools in areas affected by the catastrophic earthquake were followed up for 3 years. The self-rating PTSD scale based on the Manual of Mental Disorders, 4th Edition (DSM-IV) and the Chinese Classification and Diagnostic Criteria of Mental Disorders, 2nd Edition, Revised (CCMD-2-R) was collected at 53 months, and determinant data were collected repeatedly. Logistic regression was used for a determinants analysis.
The prevalence of overall PTSD was 23.4% among the sample. The risk factors for PTSD were older age (OR=1.52, 95% CI: 1.20~1.92), and death or injury of a family member in the earthquake (OR=1.61, 95% CI: 1.09~2.37). Adolescents who had moderate-to-severe common mental health problems were more likely to have PTSD symptoms, with ORs from 3.98 to 17.67 (All P<0.05). Self-esteem remained a protective factor for PTSD regardless of age, whereas positive coping was a protective factor for PTSD when adolescents were older.
PTSD symptoms among adolescent survivors of a catastrophic earthquake seemed to persist over time. Long-term interventions are needed to alleviate PTSD symptoms among adolescent survivors. (Disaster Med Public Health Preparedness. 2019;13:414-418)